She immediately jumped up and said,
“It’s not what you are thinking!”
Am not to sure to whom exactly, Khanyi or myself! Waking up to a teenager with her hands under your blanket is quite something and I was not even sure where to begin. Khanyi ignored and said to me,
“Are you fucking her too!”
Furiously! She did not hide her disgust which startled Zimasa yet again!
“No no no, there is no fucking here! I think I left my phone on the couch when you chased me off to bed!”
“I did not want to wake you because you were in a bad mood so I figured I could fish it from underneath you!”
My couches had a tendency of grabbing things between the cushions. It was a plausible argument but I did not want to fish for it because it would look like we planned this argument. I took my phone and handed it to her to dial her phone. It did not ring but it vibrated from underneath me and the vibrations were loud enough for Khanyi to hear. Problem is we couldn’t find the phone, or rather we could not reach it. It had not only gone through the cushions but had fallen into the a torn part of the cloth on the couch itself. The only way of fishing it out would be to overturn the couch otherwise we would have to tear it further for a hand to fit and that was not an option! Hell no! It was late so this was not happening! At first she protested and stood her ground. She said that she could not sleep without her phone because she had people she had to say goodnight too and she was certain that people were already getting worried as to where she was! I laughed! All teenagers think there are so important to their friends hence everything must happen now to make the world a better place! Maybe they are right but not at three in the morning at the expense of my sleep, goodnight!
I sent her to bed and told her that she will take it out tomorrow. She saw that she was in a no win position, what with Khanyi standing there with her hands across her chest! When Zimasa left I asked her why she was up so late or rather so early in the morning and she said she could not sleep. She said she was having nightmares about her ordeal. My first thought was that she was trying to milk the sympathy but then it hit me, as a man I will never know the emotional cycle a woman goes through after a rape! It’s easy to just dismiss her as someone seeking attention or to assume that she is doing just fine. I was awake anyway so I sat up and said she can talk to me if she wanted. The least I could do was listen. So what I had slept with her and so what my wife was upstairs, this was a woman who had gone through a lot of which I had a part to blame. She took a throw and wrapped it around her, not that it was cold but oh well then took the couch in front of me. I wonder what my wife would think if she walked in right now and found her husband talking to her bestfriend at three in the morning! Where they even bestfriends? Am not sure but they were friends at the very least, wrong or right! People have a tendency of saying someone who betrays you is not your friend but when your sibling betrays you does that stop them being your sibling? Nope! I don’t think so. Besides I had already concluded that the affair was over so nothing was going to happen again!
She told me that what hurts her the most is not what he did but the fact that she was powerless to defend herself. She told me that a million times over already she had blamed herself for not taking defensive classes and how she had laughed at her friends that did in the past.
“Mxolisi, in a country with so much rape you would think every woman would have a blackbelt but oh no, we will rather do our weaves and nails!”
I did not know what to say. It felt as though she was accusing me directly. She was sobbing gently and much as I kept on saying I am so sorry I felt it would never hit home!
“As a woman you tell yourself it will never happen to you because that gives you piece of mind until that day comes…”
She went quiet and just stared into space. For a moment I thought she had fallen asleep with her eyes open. You never know hey, these things happen.
“Mxolisi what would you have done if it was you that had been… raped!”
She whispered the last word! Huh? What kind of a question was that? I felt my skin crawl at that thought and I remembered the poor boy I had exacted my revenge on. What had I done? I was just the same as the very criminals I put to jail! What had I done? I actually had tears in my eyes! She had hit a spot!
I don’t know when or how but eventually we both fell asleep, both I am certain haunted by the ghosts of our recent pasts. I had not thought this through! I could not kick this woman out of my home even if I wanted to. In the morning my wife found us there. She said she had heard our conversation last night because the house had been so quiet as she missed me in her bed. Eh, had she heard the Zimasa part too? She did not say anything about that.
She came over to me and gave me a kiss (I hadn’t even brushed my teeth) and hugged me,
“Although I am very angry at you, you are still the best husband in the world! Thank you so much for being there for my friend! I honestly don’t know what I would have done without you!”
She kissed me again and she left! I was winning points with my wife at last. When she closed the door behind her and drove out Khanyi woke up too. She said good morning and went to her room. I guess she did not hear my wife and I.
Khanyi said she had to go to the doctor for a follow up check up. She asked to use my car if I was not going anywhere. I obliged and she left.
As I was making breakfast Zimasa came to me and stared at me for a long time until I asked what her problem was,
“Bhuti, are you sleeping with Khanyi?”
She asked me looking me straight in the eye! What the hell?
“How could you even ask me that”
I asked her! Wow this child really had no boundaries!
“Please answer the question?!”
She asked ignoring my question!
I demanded to know why and she said,
“Last night Khanyi asked if you are sleeping with me TOO and I noticed how angry and hurt she was when she thought that! I am not stupid! I am a woman and I know how this works!”
She was sharper than I thought! She had been paying attention after all!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Every morning I read your QnA I tell myself that today is the day I tell my story. I chicken out but the month is running out. I guess today is the day.
When I was 6 I was raped by two 8 year old boys from my street. I don’t remember much about it to be honest as that was so long ago (am 24). When I was 15 criminals entered my house and raped my mother and I in front of my father whom they tied up then beat up. They made him watch. They wore masks but when they were caught it turned out they had been hired by an uncle who was jealous that my father’s bottle store was a success and he said it was because my father was proud. My father started off as a security guard and had built this by his own hands. I joined church and became born again and two years ago at a youth camp in the Northern Cape I was raped by one of the attendees. I was one of the welcoming team so we went early. The others had to go buy food and stationary whilst I was left with him to set up. He was caught in the act. I don’t know if I have bad luck or if the people around me are evil. My father committed suicide and my mother well, she was never the same.
This is my story. I try stand up everyday and smile but there is some pain that does not go away. Thank you Mike Maphoto for this opportunity you give us.